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Tap into your free credit score and report, along with credit-building Nerdy insights personalized to you. You’ll also be able to track your net worth, cash flow and so much more to get the most from your money.
Get more than a free credit score with NerdWallet.
Check your free credit score and credit report, and get alerts about changes so you can manage your credit effectively.
Stay on top of your score with tips and alerts tailored to you. Use our credit simulator to check out how actions might affect your score.
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Understand which credit cards fit your financial needs and check out the credit score guidelines for approval.
Loan and refi offers
Check into loan and refinance options that could lower your interest rate and help you cut debt.
Manage your spending and saving so you can pay bills on time, tackle your debt and grow your score.
Net worth dashboard
Easily see your grand total. We tally up your lines of credit so you can see what you have and what you owe.
Is my free credit score really free?Yes! You can sign in to NerdWallet at any time to see your free credit score, your free credit report information — and much more. There's no credit card required, no cost. If you're curious, here's how we make money.
Is it safe and secure? Will it hurt my credit?Rest easy knowing your data is protected with encryption, multi-factor authentication and other security features. And we use a "soft inquiry" so checking your score won't hurt it.
Where does NerdWallet get my score?NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information is updated weekly. Note that lenders may make their approval decisions using a different credit scoring model or data source.
Credit scores are everywhere, so choose a score provider that helps you understand the bigger picture. NerdWallet explains your score and shows you how you're doing on the factors that influence it most. In the same convenient dashboard, you can see your cash flow and understand your net worth, plus track your debt and see upcoming payments.
What goes into my free credit score — and what doesn't?When you or a lender "check your credit," a scoring model from either FICO® or VantageScore® is applied to the current data in one of your credit reports. Your score will vary, depending on which FICO® or VantageScore® version was used and whether it looked at your credit report from Experian®, Equifax® or TransUnion®. Your credit score can vary month to month or day to day as new data get sent to your credit reports.
NerdWallet uses VantageScore® 3.0 and your TransUnion® credit report data. Most lending decisions are made using the FICO® model. If you have a good VantageScore®, you may also have a good FICO® score — and both will respond to the same basic rules for managing your credit score. That's because they consider similar factors, with some differences in how they weight them:
Credit utilization: balances you owe and how much of your available credit you're using.
Age of credit history: how long you've been using credit.
Applications: how frequently you've applied for credit recently.
Type of credit: how many and what kinds of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, installment debt (such as mortgage and car loans) or a mix.
A credit score does not consider your income, savings or job security. That’s why, in addition to your credit score, lenders also may check what you owe, how much you earn and assets you have.
What is my credit score — and why does it matter?
Your credit score is a number lenders and credit card issuers use to help them decide whether to approve your credit application. The higher your score, the better your chances.
With a low score, you may still be able to get credit, but it may come with higher interest rates or require a co-signer or security deposit. You also may have to pay more for car insurance or put down deposits on utilities. Landlords might use your score to decide whether they want you as a tenant.
But as you add points to your score, you'll gain access to more credit products — and pay less to use them. Borrowers with scores above 750 or so (on a typical 300-850 scale) have many options, including the potential to qualify for 0% financing on cars and credit cards with 0% introductory interest rates.
What can I do with my credit?When your credit is strong, you have a better chance at qualifying for credit cards and loans and getting the best interest rates. Good credit also can save you money. You may qualify for better cell phone deals, pay smaller (or no) utility deposits and pay less for insurance, for example. And some employers and landlords consider credit as well.
How are credit scores and credit reports different? What are the three credit bureaus?Your credit reports are a record of how you’ve used credit in the past. Credit scores, in turn, interpret the information in your credit reports to estimate the likelihood that you will repay borrowed money. Information about your credit is collected by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®, as well as some smaller companies. It’s important to check your reports for accuracy so errors aren’t hurting your credit scores.
What is a good credit score? What are the credit score ranges?
The most commonly used credit scoring models range from 300 to 850. Each lender sets its own standards for what constitutes a good credit score. But, in general, scores fall along the following lines:
Excellent credit: 720 and higher
Good credit: 690-719
Fair credit: 630-689
Bad credit: 629 or lower
If you're just starting out or haven't used credit in at least six months, you might not have a score. Don't worry, NerdWallet has a guide to help you get started with building credit.
How can I check my credit score? How often does my credit score change?When you sign up for a NerdWallet account, you get your free credit score and free credit report, updated weekly. NerdWallet provides your VantageScore 3.0® using data provided by the TransUnion credit reporting bureau.
Credit scores change frequently as data is added to your credit reports. A weekly check-in is a good habit to develop, so you can see your credit-building progress and watch for signs of trouble.
How can I build my credit score?
The two biggest factors in your credit score are paying on time and managing how much of your credit limits you're using. That’s why they come first in this list of tips:
Pay all your bills, not just credit cards, on time. Late payments and accounts charged off or sent to collections will hurt your score.
Use no more than 30% of your credit limit on any card — less, if possible. The best scores go to people using 10% or less of their credit limits.
Keep accounts open and active when possible — that gives you a longer payment history and can help your "credit utilization," or how much of your limits you're using.
Avoid opening too many new accounts at once. New accounts lower your average account age and each application causes a small ding to your score. We recommend spacing credit applications about 6 months apart. Make sure you conduct thorough research on the best credit card for your needs before applying.
Check your credit reports and dispute errors.
What if I'm just starting out?Maybe you're just starting out and haven't built up any credit history yet. It can be hard to get credit when you don't have enough history to generate a score, but there are strategies and products that can help people just starting out.
It'll take a few months to generate a score, and then you can follow the tips above and watch your progress on your NerdWallet dashboard.
What can hurt my credit score?Paying late or running up higher-than-normal credit card balances can hurt your credit score. It takes longer to recover from a late payment, which can stay on your credit reports for up to seven years. But the damage from a high balance disappears after you’ve brought the balance down.
Other negative marks on your credit reports can come from defaulting on an account (not paying as agreed), being sent to collections, having a repossession or foreclosure, or filing for bankruptcy.